I’m a problem solver. As soon as I confront an obstacle my brain instantly switches into “how can I fix this” mode. That’s why I panicked only briefly when my son and I heard an ominous crunch. It was the sound of our large, “traditionally built” cat extricating an elaborate book report – a 12-sided, three-dimensional figure – from a grocery bag, and then sitting on it.
It takes a long time and a lot of tape and glue to assemble a 12-sided figure. And wouldn’t you know, he was even set to turn it in on time! We were not able to return it to its original condition but we did pop out the dents and retape the corners. It’s not perfect but it will have to do.
When you’re faced with a business problem, your first reaction might also be panic – or pain, disappointment, despair, disgust…any number of wonderful emotions. But after the initial hit, ask yourself this:
- Can I restore this to 100%?
- If not, how close can I get?
- What are my options for repairing this?
- Are there any long-term ramifications?
- If yes, can I lessen them or head them off?
- Who can help? What do I ask them for?
- What’s the worst-case scenario? And is it really that bad?
- Will I care as much about this tomorrow as I care right now?
A natural proclivity toward problem-solving isn’t always a helpful thing. After all, there are some things you can’t fix – but you sure can expend a lot of energy trying. If something is truly unrecoverable it’s best to remember one phrase. Repeat after me: “I will cut my losses and move on.” It’s not perfect, but it will have to do.
What’s the best “fix” you ever came up with? Post your comments or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org – if I use them, I’ll feature your business.